words // Adam Arthur
Ready to compete against the best cross-country runners in the nation? Nike Cross Nationals is your opportunity.
The 2013 Nike Cross Regionals (NXR) nationals-qualifying events continue in Mesa, Arizona on 11/23/2013. The Southwest Regional lets high school cross-country runners from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada race for a chance to compete at this year’s National Final, held in Portland, OR on 12/07/2013.
Southwest Regional takes place at Toka Sticks Golf Course, a 100% grass course. “It’s flat and fast,” says Jeff Guy, the Midwest Regional meet director. “It’s not a loop course so there’s no path athletes run twice. And the weather is perfect – it’s unbelievable.”
The day before the race, runners have the opportunity to walk thru the course, shop for Nike Cross Nationals gear, and attend the Southwest Regional’s press conference that highlights the elite individual runners and teams competing. Afterwards, runners can participate in the traditional t-shirt exchange and meet a professional Nike athlete. “The t-shirt exchange is huge,” Jeff states. “Athletes exchange their school’s t-shirt with t-shirt’s from athletes on different teams. It’s a lot of fun and almost becomes like a bidding war. It gets runners from different teams talking and is a great icebreaker.”
Race day kicks off with a citizen’s race and other open races. Then, the focus switches to the boys’ and girls’ championship races. To make the race even more memorable for runners, the finish line has a Southwest Regional hall-of-fame touch. “The finish line is lined with state flags of each of the five states represented,” Jeff says. “And each flag lists the winning individuals and teams from the past. It’s a cool presence.”
The Southwest Regional is the only NXR event that has ties with Wings of America, an organization that works to enhance the quality of life for American Indian youth. “This allows Native American runners to qualify for the USATF Cross-Country Championship’s National Meet without having to necessarily be competing in a championship race,” Jeff explains. “Qualifying is determined by time and the top runners advance to the Final.”
Eastbay has been a proud sponsor of NXR and NXN since 2006.
Ready to register for the Southwest Regional? Check out runnerspace.com/nxn for more info, including eligibility and entry information. If your state is not represented at the Southwest Regional, view the Nike Cross Nationals schedule listed below to see which regional event you can participate in. And don’t forget to check our blog weekly, as we’ll be bringing you an in-depth look at each NXR event and the National Final.
2013 Nike Cross Nationals Event Schedule:
Heartland Regional – Sioux Falls, SD (11.10.2013)
States included: IA, KS, MN, NE, ND, SD, and WI.
Northwest Regional – Boise, ID (11.16.2013)
States included: AK, HI, ID, MT, OR, WA, and WY.
Midwest Regional – Terre Haute, IN (11.17.2013)
States included: IN, IL, MI, MO, and OH.
Southwest Regional – Mesa, AZ (11.23.2013)
States included: AZ, CO, NM, NV, and UT.
South Regional – The Woodlands, TX (11.23.2013)
States included: AR, LA, MS, OK, and TX.
Southeast Regional – Cary, NC (11.30.2013)
States included: AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, MD, NC, SC, TN, VA, and WV.
Northeast Regional – Wappingers Falls, NY (11.30.2013)
States included: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, PA, RI, and VT.
New York Regional – Wappingers Falls, NY (11.30.2013)
States included: NY.
National Final – Portland, OR (12.07.2013)